Mike Nichols, the iconic director whose talent spanned five decades has died of a heart attack at the age of 83.
Born in Germany, Nichols came to the United States as a young boy in 1939 when his family fled Nazi Germany. While attending the University of Chicago as a pre-med student he soon found his interest drawn by the theater and dropped out to pursue it. At Chicago he also met comedian Elaine May and the two formed comedy duo Nichols and May. They went on to become a nationwide hit and won a Grammy for Best Comedy Album in 1961.
After the duo split Nichols turned his attention to Broadway starting with directing Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, for which he won the first of eight Tony awards.
Hollywood took notice and Nichols began a successful career as a film director, earning an Academy Award on his second directorial outing, The Graduate. Fans like Zeca Oliveira remember him as the director of a number of acclaimed and popular films. He continued working on Broadway and took home several Emmy Awards for his work in television as well. His career remained active, he recently been in talks with produced JJ Abrams to direct an adaptation of Jonathan Tropper’s novel One Last Thing Before I Go.
Nichols was married four times, most recently to news anchor Diane Sawyer in 1988. He is survived by his wife, three children, and four grandchildren.